POLITICS

Jack Lew Treasury Secretary? Obama Reportedly Close To Nominating Chief Of Staff For Post

01/07/2013 06:42 pm ET | Updated Jan 09, 2013

President Obama is close to nominating White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew as Treasury Secretary, Bloomberg reported Monday.

According to Bloomberg, sources close to the decision say that Obama could announce his decision as early as next week. If confirmed, Lew would fill the post being left vacant by outgoing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Geithner is reportedly leaving the Treasury at the end of this month.

Lew has served as Obama's Chief of Staff since last January. Prior to that, he served as the director of the Office of Management and Budget.

In November, The Huffington Post's Mark Gongloff and Christina Wilkie reported on the possibility of Lew replacing Geithner:

Lew, who previously ran Obama's Office of Management and Budget, is known in Washington as a top-notch negotiator who understands federal spending like few others and who can make difficult decisions in order to cut a bipartisan deal. Lew's reputation was forged in the Clinton administration, where he played a pivotal role in the negotiations that resulted in Clinton's historic 1997 Balanced Budget Act.

To Beltway insiders, Lew's appointment as Treasury Secretary would be taken as a sign that Obama intends to prioritize budget and tax policy negotiations in his second term, in spite of a fiercely divided Congress.

"Jack has experience negotiating balanced budgets with a Republican Congress, and he'd bring that to bear on anything he worked on," said Michael Barr, a former assistant secretary of the Treasury for Financial Institutions under Obama who worked with Lew in the Clinton administration.

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